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Master of Arts and/or
certification in special education

Course Descriptions:
Severe/Multiple Disabilities

The Severe/Multiple Disabilities Program consists of required courses in the following areas:

  • Common Courses
  • Specialization Courses
  • Courses for Degree Only

Common Courses

SPED 600
Instructional/Assistive Technology
Instructional and assistive technology for individuals with more significant disabilities.

SPED 604
Characteristics/Educational Adaptations: Developmental Disabilities
Characteristics and educational implications of physical, neurological, and sensory impairments; positioning, handling and other management strategies; programs for feeding, toileting, dressing and other motor skills; selection, design, and use of assistive technology; issues in disabilities such as accessibility, health and safety measures, controversial interventions.

SPED 605
Family/Professional Collaboration: Developmental Disabilities
Strategies and interpersonal skills for family partnerships, professional teaming, and interagency collaboration; issues in collaboration such as family autonomy, cultural differences, abuse/neglect.

SPED 606
Communication Intervention: Developmental Disabilities
Design and implementation of programs to develop communication skills; selection and use of augmentative and alternative systems; interventions to teach precursors, basic and advanced skills; issues in communication such as integrated therapy, cultural differences, bilingual education.

SPED 607
Formal/Informal Assessment: Developmental Disabilities
Principles and practices of assessment; formal and informal assessment procedures; report writing and program plan development; issues in assessment such as legal rights, cultural differences, adaptations for specific impairments.

Specialization Courses


SPED 620 
Standards-based Curriculum: Sever Disabilities
Characteristics and educational implications; design of curriculum; IEP/IHP development; ecological inventory and task analysis; issues in education and habilitation such as integration and inclusion, quality of life and self-determination, right to life, treatment, and education.

SPED 622
Instructional Programming: Severe Disabilities
Design, delivery, and evaluation of integrated instruction; planning settings, schedules, and materials; functional adaptations; computer-assisted instruction; issues in instruction such as community-based training, paraprofessional and peer roles, educational malpractice.

SPED 625 
Secondary/Adult Programs: Severe Disabilities
Transition planning; residential, employment and community programs for adolescents and adults; instruction for independent living, productive employment, and community participation; issues in education and habilitation such as civil rights, sexuality education, criminal justice system procedures, aging services.

SPED 629
Positive Behavior Supports: Severe Disabilities
Theory and practice of applied behavior analysis; functional assessment of problem behavior; design and evaluation of behavior support plans; prevention, intervention, and crisis management of challenging behaviors; issues in behavior support such as person-centered planning, staff liability, aversive procedures.

SPED 621
Culminating Practicum: Severe Disabilities
Clinical experience with children, adolescents, or adults with severe/multiple disabilities in education or habilitation settings.

Courses for Degree Only

SPED 675
Research to Practice
Identification of special education issues and action research strategies for investigating issues in educational practice.

SPED 680
Culminating Project
Completion of master’s program projects in applied research, curriculum development, or program design.